Many colleges and universities offer summer school programs with a wide range of courses for those who want to continue learning while regular classes are on a break. Adding to your education and gaining extra academic credits may seem like the smartest way to spend the summer, but it isn’t necessarily the right choice for everyone.
Here are five good reasons to skip school this summer:
You Can’t Make All The Classes
Summer school courses are often condensed to make them fit into the shorter summer term. This means that classes may be longer in duration and more intense than usual. If you have a vacation booked, or other commitments that will prevent you from getting to class or studying, you might find that you miss too much of the content and end up with a low or fail grade. Missing just one three-hour seminar could cost you!
One solution is to look at a course that has at least some online delivery—if you don’t mind taking your laptop on vacation, that is!
You Find It Hard to Concentrate
The intensity and length of classes can also make summer school courses a challenge for those who struggle with prolonged concentration. If you find your mind wandering towards the end of your regular lectures then summer school may not be for you.
If you still could use the credits, consider courses with a high proportion of practical elements such as workshops, lab work or hands-on research to better hold your interest.
You Have Other Interests or Commitments
There’s more to life than studying, so students with other non-academic interests shouldn’t feel bad about using their summer break to focus on these instead.
Maybe you’re passionate about a particular sport, or love to act or cook or write. The summer presents the perfect opportunity to really focus on developing your other interests, or to try something completely new, without a study schedule getting in the way. Not only will you enjoy it, but you’ll also have great material for a well-rounded resume or grad school application. Who knows, it could even lead to amazing opportunities in something that you’re really passionate about.
You’re Low on Funds
Summer school courses can be expensive—even more so than regular college classes, due to their condensed nature. If you don’t have the cash in the bank or generous parents then think long and hard before getting into debt to fund classes that are an optional extra.
Signing up for summer school will also mean kissing goodbye to a chunk of free time that you could be using to work and build up funds to see you through next semester. Working the summer will also give you good practical experience to boost your resume, as well as showing a strong work ethic—both of which can be equally as valuable as academic credits when it comes to future job or school applications.
You Really Need A Break
Everyone needs to switch off and relax sometimes. Maybe you’ve had a really hectic semester, have found your studies particularly challenging, or have been juggling school with work or family commitments. If you’ve been working and studying hard for months then having a proper break could be way more important than gaining extra credits in summer school.
Giving yourself time to do the things you enjoy will allow you to return in the fall refreshed and ready to give 100% to your major.
If you decide against summer school, you can still set aside time over the summer to continue your learning on an informal basis. Get ahead on next semester’s reading, work on aspects of your major that you find challenging, or develop practical skills. For example, you could learn how to cite sources correctly, either in MLA and APA style with parenthetical citations, or with a Chicago style annotated bibliography and footnotes.
The benefits of swapping formal summer school sessions for informal learning are that you can fit it around your own schedule and it’s free! Citation Machine is one online resource with freely available information including how to write an annotated bibliography, the parenthetical citation definition, and lots more.